Nothing like the end of a bleak, cold, windy February to make a person’s thoughts turn to the upcoming racing season.
Between the walking (hard work, I tell you, hard work), surgery in late December, and the weather, I’m way down on training hours. I’ve gotten out on the handcycle exactly twice since early October. I’ve kept up with weight training and Masters swimming (mostly).
I’ve been fantasizing about doing another bicycle tour. I find myself wandering through websites talking about supported touring, credit card touring, solo touring…do I really want to drag a wheelchair and luggage behind me and camp? This guy did on his cross country handcycle tour: Sonny Neumiller @ crazyguyonabike.
I also fantasized briefly about Ride the Rockies in June, but then I compared my average daily mileage in France (a whopping 19 miles) to the RTR daily mileage…yeah, probably not ready for that ride yet.
Which gets me mentally back to my old bugaboo, feeling like I’m so slow and cover so little ground that there’s no way to do any kind of bike tour with anyone else. I remember how inadequate I felt being passed all the time in the Venus de Miles the first year I did it. Last year, instead of starting early, I started with the other 33 mile riders, and that was worse. Too late in the day, much too hot, too slow (although I had the awesome companionship of the incredible and incredibly patient Kate G).
But I know from previous experience that I need to set some goals, decide on a set of events, and just get going, and it will be all right.
Do you have the budget for another euro-tour? If yes, look at Denmark or Holland maybe. Flat. Think flat. My friend’s parents did a bike tour in Denmark after they retired, and had a great time, purely recreational cyclists but who’d trained some to get ready for the trip. (Lest you think retirees are boring — no, not at all. People don’t reach peak-interesting until they turn 80 anyway.)
Anyway, that would be my thought – even though you like racing, let yourself just enjoy biking, and pick a destination that provides maximum touring pleasure for a reasonable effort. Isle of Wight would be another one to look at — it has hills, but the distances are very short, and it is lovely and the road signs are hilarious. (You and spouse could do all your own arrangements and just enjoy a honeymoon together exploring the island.) Or other places like that.
The budget is obviously always a factor, but the big thing is the handcycle shipping – I know it really freaked my husband out. I’m thinking maybe Oregon?